The more company develops its activity – the more problems arise in its way. They stick to company like parasites and managers need constantly to look for ways to get rid of these parasites. One of them is the language problem, that occurs the large business structures that have many subsidiaries around the world.
Twenty years ago The Linguistic Auditing tried to make a system of special tools for measuring language barriers. Its aim was to evaluate their foreign language requirements and to identify their strength and weakness. But, unfortunately, their suggests has not been widely adopted .
At first glance, the fastest solution of this language problem is the establishment of a common, corporate language at all levels. This strategy is used by Siemens and Daimler-Chrysler. But such policies will be effective in a company with small staff. However, if the company has a wide staff and most are working on lower-level work which is not under a compulsory language proficiency – it has no sense to force workers to learn the “waste” language for them.
In my mind, the most effective strategy could be based on using a system of two languages: system language, that would be used on management level and other language, that depends on country, where company is situated, would be used by lower staff. By the way, language requirement will be established only for managers. This strategy is effectively used in Nestle.
Alan J Feely, Anne-Wil Harzing, “Language Management in multinational companies” available at: http://www.harzing.com/
Kaiu, E. (2014), Language as a tool for multinational companies, European Journal of Sustainable Development, vol. 3, iss: 3, pp. 395-402.
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